Tag Archives: Recipes

Lentil soup

Basmala

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
  • 100g orange lentil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 1.5 litres water

Saut the onion until soft and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

I like to blend the soup quickly for a smoother consistency.

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Ramadan Day 4

Basmala

Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.

Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄

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Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!

Ramadan day 3 – Cheesy Chicken Roll Ups

Basmala

Another day, another fast and alhamdu lillah everyone got through the day in one piece! It was a bit of a cooking fest today – I made chicken noodle soup, vegetable samosas and cheese and garlic stuffed chicken breast slices and also cooked up some shop bought tortelloni. In addition of course, there was leftover couscous salad and tuna rolls.

The chicken rolls are very simple and require only a few ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 75g medium strength Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
The chicken breasts I used made 9 slices, the remaining bits of chicken I used for the chicken noodle soup.
Mix the cheese and garlic together and then divide between the chicken slices and roll. Dip in the egg and then the breadcrumbs and then hallow fry in a little oil until lightly golden. Bake in the oven at 190C until golden and cooked through (about 25-30 mins).

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A bit later in the day I had a sudden urge to try making a chocolate sundae, all from scratch. Needless to say, it was a hit. Recipe to follow another day but it consisted of chocolate fudge brownie, raspberries, homemade chocolate mousse, homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Chocolate heaven!

I have to add that making brownies AND mousse when fasting is torturous as you can’t lick the bowl out afterwards! 😯

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Ramadan essentials – Samosas

Basmala

Samosas, samboosa, samboosak, spring rolls, borek, borega as they are variously called in different countries are all a variation on a similar theme. They generally consist of a paper thin pastry filled with meat or vegetables, rolled into triangles or logs and deep fried. They feature on iftar tables during Ramadan worldwide in some form or other.

I have no set recipe for these and will generally fill them with whatever ingredients I have on hand, favourites include spiced mixed vegetables (as below), minced meat, onions and scrambled egg (Algerian style) and mashed potato/ Cheddar cheese. I have also tried filling them with Pakistani chicken kebab mixture and they were a hit.

One thing I love to do, whatever the filling, is to quickly dip each rolled samosa into egg wash and then in breadcrumbs before frying.

The prepared, uncooked samosas can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days or they can be frozen and thawed as needed.

Today’s recipes consisted of:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup petits pois
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt and chilli to taste
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Place the potato, carrots, sweetcorn and peas into boiling water and cook until soft.
Drain the vegetables and then very quickly give them a little mash – mainly just to break up the potato cubes a bit.
Fry the onion until soft and then add the mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, chilli and salt and stir on a medium to high heat for one minute before adding the cooked vegetables. Stir fry for a minute and finally add the squeeze of lemon juice.
Allow to cool before filling the samosa pastry. Fold into triangles, dip in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs if desired.
Fry in hot oil until golden and crispy.

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Choco-peanut butter pancakes

Basmala

I was trying to think of a way of sprucing up the plain pancakes we often eat and noticed the peanut butter jar left on the counter top… it’s been a long time since I saw peanut butter chips in the supermarket so I thought I would try freezing blobs of peanut butter and making my own ‘peanut butter chips’! They pretty much melted when the pancakes were cooked but there were bits of peanut butter oozing from the pancakes as we bit into them. Delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
10g melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
50g smooth peanut butter

  • I started off by placing tiny lumps of the peanut butter onto a freezable surface and then placing the peanut butter in the freezer to firm.
  • Next, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a bowl. Beat in the egg and milk and then add the vinegar and melted butter.
  • Heat a non-stick pan (medium heat) with a tiny amount of oil and just before you start to cook the pancakes, empty the chocolate chips and peanut butter lumps into the batter and give it all a quick mix.
  • Drop tablespoons of the batter into the frying pan and heat until the top starts to become dry and the bubbles pop. Carefully turn over and cook for another minute or so. I made around 15 pancakes with this batter.
  • I served the pancakes with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Tofu Chocolate mousse

Basmala

I had a carton of tofu in the fridge and wasn’t sure what to do with it until I stumbled upon this recipe.

It’s a fantastically simple chocolate mousse dessert with minimal ingredients and tastes amazingly rich. You’d never believe that it contains tofu and NO eggs or cream.  If you love rich chocolate desserts, this really is a ‘must try’ even if you are not vegan. The other big bonus is that it contains no raw eggs.

Technically it does not set to a mousse-like consistency but the consistency is very pleasant and thick; just the way a cold chocolate dessert should be.

You need:

  • 1x 12 ounce package of silken tofu (I used ‘firm’)
  • 10 oz milk or dark chocolate (check that it is dairy free if you are making it for someone who is vegan)
  • 3 tsbp maple syrup (I used 2tbsp as I used milk chocolate which was sweet enough)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.

Blend tofu (preferably at room temperature) in food processor, blender, or with hand mixer until just smooth.

Scrape the melted chocolate into the food processor with the tofu and continue blending, add maple syrup and vanilla and process until creamy.

Pour into individual serving glasses or one large bowl and refrigerate until set.

I finished mine off with a grating of white chocolate but it would be gorgeous with something like chocolate curls or fresh raspberries, strawberries or mandarin segments.

Chicken and Broccoli Quiche

Basmala

I’d been wanting to make a quiche and then, when browsing Leslie’s blog I noticed the recipe for Easy All-butter Pie Crust that she posted recently. With promises of  “…a recipe with a technique that will give you the flakiest all-butter pie crust you’ve ever dreamed of”, I had to bite the bullet and give it a go!

I have to confess that I didn’t have butter but wanted quiche right away so I just got on and made it with margarine anyway. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it made the dough a little sticky and difficult to work with but the pastry was still a success: nice, flaky and cooked well without going soggy under the quiche filling.

Easy All-Butter Pie Crust

Makes one 9″ double crust or two 9″ single crusts

2 cups/280 grams all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

I halved the recipe since I was making a quiche and not a pie.

Start by sifting the flour and place into a freezer bag and freeze the flour until cold. Chop the butter into cubes and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Combine the water, salt and vinegar and place in the fridge.

Next dump the butter and flour onto your clean worktop and roll over it with a rolling pin until the butter is flattened into sheets. Gather up the butter and flour and place in a mixing dish, pour the water/vinegar mixture over half at a time in case you dont need it all and combine into a rough dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press together into a more uniform ball of dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour before using.

More thorough explanation of the method here.

I rolled out and lined a 9″ lid of a Pyrex dish with the pastry since I don’t have a pie dish and my flan dish is a little too deep.

I refrigerated the dish with pastry for a further 30 minutes before baking blind at 375F for about 20 minutes. I covered the pastry with foil and some baking beans so prevent puffing up.

Ingredients for the quiche filling:

1 ready cooked chicken breast (approx 100g), finely diced
50g boiled and cooled broccoli, finely chopped
80g Cheddar cheese grated
60 ml cream
3 eggs, beaten

Combine the chicken, broccoli and cheese and then spread over the base of the quiche.

Beat together the cream and eggs and pour over the chicken, broccoli and cheese.

Finish off with a little freshly ground black pepper.

I found the cheese salty enough and didn’t need to add extra salt.

Bake at 375 f for 20-30 minutes; until the filling is firm and golden.